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How to Avoid Depression during the Holidays

It’s the end of the year and time for all the holidays. There’s Thanksgiving, then Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other holidays. These are times when families gather together and people go shopping with friends. Decorations go up everywhere, people drive around looking at the lights, great food is offered and it’s just the best time of the year. Right?

If you are in a good situation, then it is the best time of the year. For some, it is not. Some people are all alone and have no one who cares about them. Others have families that cannot do seasonal things because of unemployment. Others are sick during this time and wonder whether they will live through the holiday. So, the best times for some, are the worst times for others.

The key to surviving the holidays is recognizing that they are here, and that you are at risk for having severe emotional issues. Don’t bother denying it, because that could make it worse. Just be aware that the holidays are here and that it will seem like everyone is having a good time except you. You also need to realize that what you think is not necessarily the case: it just seems that way.

What else can you do to get through the holidays unscathed? Here are a few suggestions that might help.

First, you need to realize what might set you off. A lot of times being around family members can cause conflict. Some relatives might not approve of your job, or your partner, your house, your hairstyle, your religion, your political opinions, etc. This is a time when you can feel rejected or alienated. Just realize that this may be how you feel. If you anticipate it, you can take some of the sting off when it happens. The same thing is true about being alone. Keep in mind that if you were with someone at this time it could actually be worse than being alone.

Furthermore, finances can dispatch your mind into a deep state of holiday depression. What’s worse than having a family and not having the means to give gifts; especially to your children? How horrible it is to put up the Christmas tree knowing that Santa will not be coming to your house this year! No wonder so many people get depressed over the holidays.

To avoid this dilemma, those who have credit cards might go out and buy gifts anyway. When the bills come in and all that debt piles up and you have no way to pay it off, then the stress just gets worse. Again, if you anticipate the problem, you can be mentally prepared for it. Don’t make things worse.

Overall, if you are honest about your circumstances and honest about your feelings, you stand a good chance of surviving the holidays. Most importantly, if you feel overwhelmed, reach out to a support line, a church, or a crisis center. If you look, there are a lot of people willing to help.